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Larry Crowne

A few days ago, Tom Hanks was on National Public Radio hawking his new comedy Larry Crowne, which he directed and co-wrote as well as stars in. He was asked one of those ancient, by-the-book press questions: What would he have done if he hadn’t been a fabulously successful movie star? Hanks obligingly told a pretty little story about taking one of those Circle Line boat tours around Manhattan and being fascinated by the spiel of the old tour guide. He’d probably have been one of those guides, the star said, telling stories, like he’s been doing in Hollywood.

Small Town Murder Songs

Best known to most viewers as the kidnapper with the woodchipper in the Coen Brothers’ Fargo, Peter Stormare is one of those supporting actors whose name in the opening credits always gives me hope that what I’m about to see won’t be totally worthless. (He was most recently seen as the theater director trying to make an actor out of Keanu Reeves in Henry’s Crime.) He demonstrates that he can be just as effective with a lead role in Small Town Murder Songs, an independently filmed Canadian production. A character study disguised as a police procedural, the film stars Stormare as Walter, police chief in a rural Ontario town of Mennonite history.


I sometimes question the decisions of the Dipson Theaters’ booker in putting some films at the Eastern Hills Mall rather than one of their theaters in the city. In this case, though, there’s no better location than the edge of the area’s “horse belt,” because if you have a horse or simply like them, you’ll want to see this documentary about Dan “Buck” Brannaman, the man whose career inspired The Horse Whisperer.


The title is unthreatening, even bland, especially if you’re a fan of The Simpsons. But NEDS is an acronym for “Non-Educated Delinquents,” a term used for street gangs that have afflicted urban Scotland for decades. And even that doesn’t prepare you for this disquieting, sometimes hallucinatory and often brilliant movie.

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